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Walters goes the distance as Twins stomp White Sox

May 23, 2012 - 5:02 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - P.J. Walters turned in a season-best performance for any Twins starting pitcher and the bats more than did the rest, as Minnesota routed Chicago, 9-2, to kick off a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.

Walters (2-1) pitched from the first out to the last, giving up two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks for the Twins, who have won five of six overall. Walters not only pitched a complete game, but he became the first Twins starter to record an out in the eighth inning this season.

"We gave him a nice lead and he did what a pitcher is supposed to do with it, ran with it," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.

Justin Morneau hit a three-run home run, while Josh Willingham and Alexi Casilla each drove in a pair of runs in the win.

Gavin Floyd (3-5) gave up all nine runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and three walks over 3 2/3 frames. The right-hander dropped his eighth consecutive start against the Twins, becoming the first White Sox pitcher to drop that many consecutive starts against one opponent since Tommy Thomas fell to the New York Yankees from 1926-1928.

Gordon Beckham hit a solo home run in the first and Paul Konerko drove in a run in the ninth for the White Sox, who saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.

"We did the best we good. It just wasn't there tonight," said Konerko.

The White Sox got on the scoreboard first with Beckham's home run into the seats in the left-center field power alley.

The lead was fleeting, as the Twins' sluggish offense jumped on Floyd for four runs in the second and another five in the fourth, chasing the White Sox starter. Morneau walked to start the second and advanced to third on Ryan Doumit's double to right. Both runners came around to score when Casilla chopped a grounder down the first-base line that hit off Konerko's glove and ricocheted into no-man's land in right field for a double. Jamey Carroll's subsequent single scored Casilla, and the savvy baserunner moved to second on the throw. Carroll ended up on third thanks to a wild pitch and scored the inning's fourth run on Denard Span's base hit.

Minnesota again played the extra-base game in the fourth. Carroll was hit by a pitch with one out and went to third on Span's double into right-center field. After a groundout, Floyd intentionally walked Joe Mauer to load the bases for Willingham.

Big mistake.

Willingham singled home two runners and Morneau followed with a three-run homer to right center for a 9-1 game.

Chicago scored its second run on Konerko's RBI groundout in the ninth.

Game Notes

Walters and Scott Diamond are 5-1 this season, while the rest of the Twins starting staff is 5-21...Beckham has five home runs on the season, while Morneau has six for the Twins...Span finished 2-for-5 with his fifth stolen base of the season...Floyd has given up 16 earned runs over his last 9 2/3 frames...Walters threw just 88 pitches into the eighth frame, the same number Floyd threw in 3 2/3 innings...The White Sox placed third baseman Brent Morel (back strain) on the 15-day disabled list.

    CHICAGO: 2

    May 22 10:36 PM

  • Paul Konerko grounded out, second to first scored Orlando Hudson. On the play, Brent Lillibridge advances to third. Runner on third with two outs and Tyler Flowers due up.

    Twins 9, White Sox 2  Bot 9, 2 OutsMay 22 10:32 PM

  • Justin Morneau two-out, three-run Home Run (6) to right scored Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham. Ryan Doumit due up.

    Twins 9, White Sox 1  Top 4, 2 OutsMay 22 9:16 PM
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    Twins 9, White Sox 1  Top 4, 2 OutsMay 22 9:16 PM

  • Josh Willingham singled to left scored Jamey Carroll and Denard Span. On the play, Joe Mauer advances to second. Runners on first and second with two outs and Justin Morneau due up.

    Twins 6, White Sox 1  Top 4, 2 OutsMay 22 9:16 PM
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    Twins 4, White Sox 1  Bot 3, 2 OutsMay 22 9:04 PM

  • Ben Revere flied out to center. Runner on first with two outs and Joe Mauer due up.

    Twins 4, White Sox 1  Top 2, 2 OutsMay 22 8:40 PM

  • Jamey Carroll singled to center scored Alexi Casilla. On the play, Carroll advances to second on the throw. Runner on second with one out and Denard Span due up.

    Twins 3, White Sox 1  Top 2, 1 OutMay 22 8:37 PM

  • Alexi Casilla doubled to right scored Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit. Runner on second with one out and Jamey Carroll due up.

    Twins 2, White Sox 1  Top 2, 1 OutMay 22 8:34 PM

  • Gordon Beckham one-out, solo Home Run (5) to left center. Adam Dunn due up.

    Twins 0, White Sox 1  Bot 1, 1 OutMay 22 8:20 PM

    CHICAGO: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    May 22 8:12 PM
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    Twins vs. White SoxDec 20 6:02 AM